Even though spring is upon us, unpredictable weather at this time of year means road conditions can still be challenging and there may be more traffic on our roads over the long weekend.
Every Easter long weekend, an average of three people are killed and 610 injured in 2,400 crashes throughout B.C., according to ICBC. An average of 68 people are injured in 320 crashes every year on Vancouver Island over the Easter long weekend, according to ICBC statistics.
ICBC suggests drivers follow these tips to stay safe on the road:
-Make sure you are well rested before heading out on a long drive. Take breaks or switch drivers every two hours to avoid fatigue;
-Check your vehicle. If this is your first long drive of the year, remember to check your engine oil, washer fluid, lights and inspect your vehicle tires, including the spare, to make sure they are in good condition and properly inflated;
-Plan your route and visit DriveBC to check road and weather conditions before starting your trip. Be realistic about travel times over the long weekend and expect delays. Pack an emergency kit in your vehicle in case you get stuck or stranded;
-Slow down in bad weather. Increase your following distance to four seconds in bad weather conditions or on uneven or slippery roads. Avoid driving through flooded or washed out roads;
-Watch out. Warmer weather brings more motorcyclists on our roads. Police report that driver distraction, failing to yield the right of way and improper turning are the top contributing factors for vehicle collisions involving motorcycles. Drivers can do their part by scanning intersections carefully and taking an extra moment to look for motorcycles when turning left. Stay alert and avoid distractions that take your mind off driving or your eyes off the road. Allow at least three or four seconds of following distance when behind a motorcycle and plenty of lane space when you pass;
Watch for signs of wildlife. Animals may be feeding on plants near the roadside this spring. Be very alert at dusk and dawn when animals are most likely to be on the road. Slow down when you see road signs indicating wildlife may be present or when you see wildlife so you have time to react if an animal crosses your path.
Regional crash statistics:
On average, 450 people are injured in 1,500 crashes every year in the Lower Mainland over the Easter long weekend.
On average, 62 people are injured in 330 crashes every year in the Southern Interior over the Easter long weekend.
On average, 68 people are injured in 320 crashes every year on Vancouver Island over the Easter long weekend.
On average, 22 people are injured in 140 crashes every year in the North Central region over the Easter long weekend.
Injury and crash numbers are based on ICBC data 2016 to 2020. Fatality data based on police data 2015 to 2019. Easter long weekend is calculated from 6 p.m. the Thursday prior to Good Friday until midnight Easter Monday.